Pay boost for food and drink engineers

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Average salaries for food and drink engineers grew in 2018
Average salaries for food and drink engineers grew in 2018
Wages for engineers in the food and drink manufacturing sector have risen since last year, according to a survey of UK engineering workers.

The Engineer’s 2018 Salary Survey, conducted in partnership with recruitment firm CBSbutler, found that the average salary for engineers in food and drink was £48,155, up from £46,460 in 2017 – an increase of 3.6%.

Average salaries for junior engineers and graduates also rose to £27,802 from £24,954 in 2017, when they were the lowest-paid of all the engineering sectors.

A significant rise

Directors in the industry were also given a significant rise in salary from an average of £67,980 last year to £79,393 – up 14.3%. However, senior engineers and managers saw their average salary drop from £48,626 to £47,187.

Of the respondents to the survey, just over a quarter (26.4%) of engineers in the sector were based in the Midlands and East Anglia, while 24.4% worked in the north of England.

Of the remaining engineers in the food and drink sector, 15.5% worked outside the UK, 15% were based in London and the south east, 11.9% in the south west and 6.7% in Scotland.

Engineers based in London and the south east earned the highest salaries, at an average of £52,555. A full breakdown of earnings per region can be found in the box below.

UK-wide, average weekly earnings grew by 2.5% in the three months to April 2018 compared with the same period in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Less than 3% are female

The Engineer’s Survey also found that only 2.6% of engineers from the food and drink and consumer goods sector were female, the lowest percentage across the whole of engineering.

Food sector engineers were now the fifth-highest earning in the profession, with the list topped by oil and gas engineers, who earned an average of £53,913.

Second on the list were energy, renewable and nuclear engineers, earning £52,653, with third place going to chemicals, pharmaceuticals and medical engineers with an average salary of £50,890.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, a Northern Ireland trade body claimed the UK university system had failed to create the right people to allow the food and drink sector to grow,​ and the anticipated post-Brexit fall in overseas workers would only exacerbate the problem.

Average food and drink engineer salaries

Outside UK:​ £44,168.64

South West England:​ £46,350.00

North of England:​ £46,717.39

Scotland/Wales or NI:​ £48,000.00

Midlands or East Anglia:​ £49,620.00

London or South East England:​ £52,555.56

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